Generally agree with the vibe that this isn’t exactly the stacked ‘15th year anniversary party’ they were plugging it as (not that I automatically thought a 15th anniversary warranted something out of the ordinary, but they made A LOT of it in the early promo).
I think I was a bit spoiled by those Rough Trade anniversary shows around London last year, which really set a benchmark in my mind about what this sort of thing could be, taking a few risks and offering genuine one-off moments: Angel Olsen in collaboration with The Raincoats; Josh T Pearson playing a set of unreleased pop songs for one night only etc. I thought GM could easily take a punt at something genuinely out of the ordinary, with it’s core audience thoroughly committed (so far as I can tell). At the very least, I was expecting a bit of a ‘greatest hits’ or a nod to their crusty folk roots, maybe Bonnie Prince Billy as a headliner or something, rather than Future Islands.
BUT having said all that, it’s always undoubtedly the best weekend of the year in my mind, even when it’s a ‘weak line up’ on paper. In recent years, I do feel like there’s been an effort to spread the quality over the entire day, and curate an attendee’s actual day of music from noon til midnight, rather than focus on how big hitters look on a poster. And that’s definitely how I’d prefer it.
Tl;dr: Superficial gripes aside, I can’t wait. This is going to be great.